Hiring and 

Being Hired

Mac Newbold

OpenWest - May 9, 2014

A Game We All Play

Almost everyone is involved in hiring somehow

We're going to look at it from both sides of the table

Don't be this guy...


In my work, I've been involved in a ton of hiring

My philosophies have changed over time as I've learned

I find it an interesting topic, and like discussing it

I am learning more about it and gathering input/data

I hope to benefit others by encouraging sane processes

Make the world a happier place

Purpose of the Hiring Process

Both sides have goals

Employer wants:
Fill a need - manpower, skill set, etc.
Good value - balance of cost and outcome
Usually, a successful long-term relationship

Employee wants:
Trade time time and skills for compensation
Good environment, reasonable expectations, fun work
Usually, a successful long-term relationship

What Makes it Sustainable?

Successful long-term sustainable relationships 
matter a lot to both parties

Good match of work to worker (compatible expectations)

Personalities, communication style (with manager and team)

Personal growth and career progress

Bottom line:

An arrangement that is consistently Win - Win

The Interview Process

Purpose of Interview Process

[Mutually] Determine if it is a good fit

Get familiar with each other
(personality, skills, style, etc.)

"Mitigate risk"

What risks are we each trying to avoid?

Interviewing Methods

Interviewing Methods

Given any set of N people,

There will almost always be

At least N+1 opinions

About what an interview should be like

Planning the Interview

How many interviews?

Who is doing the interviewing?

How long are the interviews?

Group interview, or series of individual 1-on-1 interviews?

Interview Advice

Interview Advice

Most of the typical interview advice usually applies,
but know the company where you're applying!

Put your best foot forward,


Dishonesty or partial disclosure 
(from either party)
isn't helpful to anyone!

Useless Interview

Interview Questions

Interview Questions

Remember our goals/purposes...

Determine technical (and non-technical) skills

Get to know culture/personality fit

Mitigate risk

Find some Win-Win territory
(especially compensation)

Technical Questions

Technical Questions

"Yes, Yes, a thousand times, Yes!"

How many, how hard, what kind is a widely debated topic

Think about what you most want to know

Practical Questions

Other Advice, FWIW

If you don't know quickly whether they're a fit or not,
probably not.

If they're not a fit, at least try to make it a growing experience
(give helpful feedback)

Remember it is a two-way street:
Let them ask you questions!

I like to keep it brief... 
most of my hiring now is a single one-hour interview

Is This the Right Candidate?

What motivates them?
(external vs. internal, carrot vs. stick)

What do they already know?
(current skills, background, experience)

What does their growth curve look like?
(how fast will they likely learn new things)

Does their value to you line up with their 
compensation expectations?
(can we find win-win?)

Is This the Right Company?

Do we get along well?
(personality and communication style)
(remember: both manager and team)

Do I like it here?
(culture, environment, trust, growth opportunities)

Do I like the work here?
(can I enjoy it and perform it well?)

Do I like the rewards?
(compensation, benefits, etc.)

Can't Force a Win-Win


Higher compensation cannot completely make up
for other factors that are lacking!

Think long-term!



Thanks for Coming

Keep in touch?

Vivint is hiring... JS, PHP (C#?)


freenode IRC #uphpu / #utah



Reviews/feedback encouraged:

Hiring and Being Hired

By Mac Newbold

Hiring and Being Hired

Almost all of us are involved in the hiring process in one way or another. This talk will cover things I think people on both sides of the interview table should know. We’ll discuss what characteristics are most crucial in making a good hire. We’ll expose the secrets of what your next potential employer is probably looking for. We’ll examine the fine art of making sure that your next employer-employee relationship is a great fit.

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